American Go E-Journal » China

Ke Jie: AlphaGo “like a god of Go”

Tuesday May 23, 2017

Excerpted and adapted from a report in The New York Times 

“Last year, (AlphaGo) was still quite humanlike when it played,” said Ke Jie 9P after the first match against the go-playing AI Tuesday. “But this year, it became like a god of Go.”
“AlphaGo is improving too fast,” Ke said in a news conference after the game. “AlphaGo is like a different player this year compared to last 2017.05.23_24alphago-master768year.”
Mr. Ke, who smiled and shook his head as AlphaGo finished out the game, said afterward that his was a “bitter smile.” After he finishes this week’s match, he said, he would focus more on playing against human opponents, noting that the gap between humans and computers was becoming too great. He would treat the software more as a teacher, he said, to get inspiration and new ideas about moves.
Chinese officials perhaps unwittingly demonstrated their conflicted feelings at the victory by software backed by a company from the United States, as they cut off live streams of the contest within the mainland even as the official news media promoted the promise of artificial intelligence.

Excerpted from Wired 
This week’s match is AlphaGo’s first public appearance with its new architecture, which allows the machine to learn the game almost entirely from play against itself, relying less on data generated by humans. In theory, this means DeepMind’s technology can more easily learn any task.
Underpinned by machine learning techniques that are already reinventing everything from internet services to healthcare to robotics, AlphaGo is a proxy for the future of artificial intelligence.
This was underlined as the first game began and (DeepMind CEO Demis) Hassabis (in photo) revealed that AlphaGo’s new architecture was better suited to tasks outside the world of games. Among other things, he said, the system could help accelerate the progress of scientific research and significantly improve the efficiency of national power grids.

DeepMind Match 1 wrap up
2017.05.23_ke-jie-hassabis“There was a cut that quite shocked me,” said Ke Jie, “because it was a move that would never happen in a human-to-human Go match. But, afterwards I analyzed the move and I found that it was very good. It is one move with two or even more purposes. We call it one stone, two birds.”
“Ke Jie started with moves that he had learned from the Master series of games earlier this year, adding those new moves to his repertoire,” said Michael Redmond 9P. “Ke Jie used the lower board invasion point similar to AlphaGo in the Masters games, and this was a move that was unheard of before then. Although this was one of the most difficult moves for us to understand, in the last month or players have been making their own translations and interpretations of it.”
“Every move AlphaGo plays is surprising and is out of our imagination,” said Stephanie Yin 1P. “Those moves completely overthrow the basic knowledge of Go. AlphaGo is now a teacher for all of us.”

photos: (top) courtesy China Stringer Network, via Reuters (middle) Noah Sheldon/Wired (bottom) DeepMind


AlphaGo watch parties planned across U.S.

Sunday May 21, 2017

American go clubs across the country are making plans to watch the upcoming AlphaGo-Ke Jie match. AGA chapters that hold an AlphaGo viewing party are AlphaGo 2nd gameeligible for $100 of (non-alcohol) expenses from the AGA’s chapter rewards points pool (read more here). Participating chapters thus far include the National Go Center in Washington, DC, Seattle, Austin and Durham. If your chapter is planning a watch party, email details to us at

The National Go Center’s watch party starts at 10:30p Monday night and runs until the match ends; pizza will be provided. The Center will be open for play starting at 9p and is located at 4652 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20016. “We’ll also be open for the remaining events,” reports Nate Eagle, including Tuesday starting at 7p and staying open for the Future of Go forum at 9pWednesday starting at 7p and staying open for the game starting at 10:30pThursday starting at 6p and staying open for the Pair Go / Team Play starting at 8:30p, and Friday starting at 7p and staying open for the final game starting at 10:30p. Click here for the up-to-date listings.

The Seattle Go Center reports that it will be open late to watch all five AlphaGo events.  The full Seattle schedule is on their calendar.  “We had over 60 players for the first AlphaGo/Lee Sedol game, and there is a lot of interest in this match between Ke Jie and AlphaGo as well”, reports Manager Brian Allen.

The Austin Go Club will be sponsoring a watch party on Monday evening for the first game of the Alpha Go vs Ke Jie match; check their Facebook page for details. The Triangle Go Group will host an AlphaGo viewing party on Wednesday evening at the EcoLounge at Recyclique, 2811 Hillsborough Rd, in Durham. “We’ll discuss and review the first game and thanks to the AGA, we’ll enjoy pizza as we try to digest the future of go,” says Bob Bacon. “This will be fun!”

The Neo Millennium Go Club will hold an AlphaGo vs Ke Jie watch party between 3pm and 6pm on May 28th in Andover, Massachusetts (497 South Main Street).  Jie Liang, Zhiping You and Ke Lu will be the main commentators.

photo by Brian Allen: Following the 2nd AlphaGo/Lee Sedol game
This story has been updated with the Millennium Go Club party.


AlphaGo-Ke Jie match schedule released

Saturday May 20, 2017

DeepMind has released the schedule for the upcoming Future of Go Summit, featuring an updated AlphaGo in several formats, including pair go,2017.05.20_AlphaGo China  DeepMind team go, and a 1:1 match with the world’s number one player Ke Jie.

The action begins Tuesday in China (Monday night in the US), with an opening ceremony at 9p EST and the AlphaGo-Ke Jie match starting at 10:30p EST. The Future of A.I. Forum will take place on Wednesday, the second AlphaGo-Ke Jie on Thursday, pair and team go on Friday, and the third AlphaGo-Ke Jie match on Saturday. (use this Time Zone Converter to determine local dates/times)

DeepMind will be streaming the matches live, posting match updates and expert commentaries every day on this page and on their Twitter account, @DeepMindAI. For more details, you can visit the official event page here.


Yuta Iyama, Mi Yu Ting, Park Jeong Hwan & DeepZenGo to battle in Nihon Ki-in’s new “World Go Championship” next week

Wednesday March 15, 2017

A brand-new event, the “World Go Championship”, will be held next week, March 21-23 in Osaka, Japan.  Four top players, Iyama2017.03.16_World GO Championship Yuta (Japan), Park Jeon Hwan (Korea), Mi Yuting (China), and DeepZenGo (representing AI) will fight it out for the title.  The Nihon Kiin will provide streaming and live commentaries on YouTube by Michael Redmond and Anti Tourmanen.  Click here for details and the broadcast schedule.


Stephanie Yin Reports from the BingSheng Cup World Women’s Go Championship

Saturday December 17, 2016

Stephanie Yin 1p (right) represented North America in the recent BingSheng Cup World Women’s Go Championship. Oh Yujin 3p 2016.12.17_StephanieYin-Bingshenfrom Korea took first place. The 7th (QiongLong Mountain) BingSheng Cup World Women’s Go Championship was held in Suzhou, JiangSu province in China from November 11-17.

2016.12.17_Bingshen-groupThe BingSheng Cup is a single elimination tournament of 16 players. After the first tournament in 2009, it has become one of the most prestigious women’s tournaments. In the opening ceremony, draws were made between the 16 participants, followed by special performances and a luxurious dinner. A very strong field this year attracted passionate local players to spectate throughout the tournament. At the closing ceremony (left), players celebrated the birthdays for Hua, Xueming (female 7dan pro, the leader of Chinese national team) and Hsieh, Yimin 6dan Japanese pro.


“It was my first time to compete in an individual world women’s championship,” Yin told the E-Journal. “I was quite nervous but also excited. After the draws took on the first day, I got to play Song, RongHui Chinese 5 Dan professional player. We are from the same generation of the go world. Our records were pretty close when I was actively competing in China before I came to the States.” The game commentary is below. “The game actually is very exciting. I was so close! I was ahead all the time but I made a silly mistake at the end game and I lost 2.5 points. I reviewed the game with a lot of Chinese pros.”

Categories: China

Chen Yaoye 9p Wins 2016 Bailing Cup

Saturday December 17, 2016

Chen Yaoye 9p has bested Ke Jie 9p to win the 2016 Bailing Cup 3-1, locking up the title in a hard-fought Game 4 on 2016.12.17_bailing-finalDecember 15. Click here for Stephanie Yin 1p’s game commentary on the AGA’s YouTube channel.

Categories: China

Bailing Cup Game 4 Live Commentary Thursday Night

Wednesday December 14, 2016

Stephanie Yin 1p will join the AGA broadcast team Thursday night for Game 4 of the Bailing Cup. Chen Yaoye 9p is up 2-1 against Ke Jie 9p. Commentary on the AGA’s YouTube Channel begins at 9:30PM PST; if Ke Jie 9p wins, we’ll broadcast the fifth and final game on Friday, December 16th, also at 9:30PM PST. Click here for the Game 4 commentary, with Mingjiu Jiang 9P. The Bailing Cup is a biennial international go tournament, which started in 2012 and is sponsored by the Guizhou Bailing Pharmaceutical Group.

Categories: China

Shanghai to Host Yike New Year Go Congress

Tuesday December 13, 2016

The first-ever Go Congress in China will be held in Shanghai December 31 – January 3 at the Jianguo Hotel. The Yike New 2016.12.11_Yike New Year Go CongressYear Go Congress offers go players a chance to enjoy go in the country where the ancient game originated. “Meet with the people, feel the real Chinese culture and philosophy that the game of go reflects,” organizers say. The Congress schedule includes a 7-round tournament and evening events including pro simuls, Lightning and Pair Go and a 13×13 tournament. Yike is a major mobile social network application providing non-real time mobile play services with more than 30,000 daily active users. Yike does not yet have an English version.
Contacts: (English): Shen Yao, Mobile&Wechat: (+86) 18018602100;
Chinese: Zhao Ruiliang, WeChat; Mobile: 18918521273

Categories: China

Xin’ao Cup Round of 16 Live Commentary on AGA’s YouTube Channel

Monday November 7, 2016

Coming up at 9:30p PST (12:30a EST) on Wednesday, November 9th, the AGA broadcast team will cover the Xin’ao Cup Round of 16 on its YouTube channel. Commentary will be led by AGA professional Ryan Li 1p and hosted by Andrew Jackson.

The Xin’ao Cup is a new inaugural international tournament, played in Lang Fang, China. The main competition has a draw of 64 players, 12 of whom are seeded (5 from China, 1 from Taiwan, and 3 each from Japan and Korea). The US representative in the tournament, Jujo Jiang 7p, was defeated by Xia Chenkun 3p of China in the first round. The remaining players are competing for a top prize of 2.2 million RMB, or roughly $325,000 USD.

It’s not yet clear who will play on Wednesday, because the tournament is still being played and R16 will be decided with a random draw, but there are some exciting players in the running: An Sungjoon 7d, Shi Yue 9p, Tang Weixing 9p, Ke Jie 9p, Kim Kiyong 6d, Lee Sedol 9p, and Chen Yaoye 9p. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.
Categories: China

AGA Live Commentary: Park, Tang Down to Last Game of Ing Pro Final

Tuesday October 25, 2016

Myungwan Kim 9p will give live commentary on exciting final round of the 8th Ing Pro Cup finals. Park Junghwan 9p and Tang Weixing 9p play the fifth and final match of the best of five series on Tuesday evening starting at 6:30 p.m. PDT. The players are tied 2-2 and the winner of this round will take home the grand prize of $400,000. The commentary will start at 11 p.m. PDT on the AGA’s YouTube and Twitch channels.2014.10.24_Tang+Weixing2015.02.12_Park-Junghwan-19th-LG-Cup-300x448